November 8, 2011

Munchkin Shoot

So a friend of mine came over with her munchkin and we got to march around the backyard taking some pictures!  It's been my first "fall shoot" this year and my first "baby shoot" since high school. I must say, I've learned quite a bit since then!  Fortunately MY little munchkin didn't cause me much trouble while I was movin around... then again, HER Munchkin only moves so fast so far!



November 2, 2011

I need a nap. Instead I'm making Pumpkin Muffins.

(P.S. that's a Straight-Out-Of-Camera shot :-P)

Hubby requested Pumpkin Muffins. I do *heart* my pumpkin muffins, with a recipe given to me by my high school crush's mom (at least SHE liked me! lol). I decided since I'm doing all sorts of freezer-ish-stuff, I'd make a BIG batch, and freeze most of them so we can nibble on them to our hearts delight as I get less and less mobile. So I wrote up the "big batch" recipe (aka, using a WHOLE CAN of pumpkin mash, instead of 1/3 of it), went to take a sip of water from my glass... and well... I need a nap.

First: Pumpkin Muffins though, yes? Feel free to join me in one, or both of these efforts.

First, we get all our ingredients out, to make sure we actually HAVE them all. It was a close call for this chica on the Nutmeg - EXACTLY 1 1/2 tsps left in the jar (this must be because I went grocery shopping today). And yes, I use my stove as more counter space when cooking - that's what the flat-top is for, right?!?

Then, we set our oven to preheat to 350*, because if we don't do it now, we'll forget and have to wait longer later.

Now... we measure out our dry ingredients and mix them all together nicely!

Ready to get movin here... cream your margarine. For this "big batch" of 36 muffins, you'll use 2 sticks and 2 tbsp... get it all mushy and light and fluffy, and then slowly add in your brown sugar.

I did this by adding 1/2 a cup at a time. Once all your sugar is in, and it looks all yummy deliciousness, add the pumpkin and eggs. It will then turn gross looking. Like this:
But have no fear, we're adding in the flour mix alternately with the milk, and it'll end up all satiny smooth... just wait. Now... this is the hard part. Add flour mix first, then milk, then flour, then milk, slowly and letting it combine fully before adding more goodies making sure you add flour FIRST AND LAST. Ok, tricks over... now it looks all smooth and delicious again.
Spoon it into muffin tins (with papers) 3/4 full, pop in the oven, and 20 minutes later... DELICIOUSNESS.

And there's NO REASON not to pop one out of the pan IMMEDIATELY and eat it piping hot. In fact, do it. THEN take your nap ;)

BIG BATCH RECIPE (Because you'll want it. And so will your neighbors. And family. And dog.)
Makes 3 dozen muffins
Takes 20 minutes at 350*
Prep-Time, maybe 30 minutes?

4 1/2 cups flour
5 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/8 tsp cloves

18 Tbsp Margarine (2 sticks + 2 tbsp)
2 cups Brown Sugar, packed lightly
3 eggs
1 15oz can mashed pumpkin

1 1/2 cups milk

1) Combine first 7 ingredients (dry ingredients sans sugar) in a large bowl
2) Cream margarine
3) Slowly add brown sugar until light and fluffy
4) Add pumpkin and eggs and mix well
5) Add flour mixture alternately with milk slowly, mixing well between additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
6) Fill muffin cups 3/4 full
7) Bake in 350* oven for 20 minutes.
8) EAT!!!!
9) Share with neighbors, or freeze extra muffins for defrosting and enjoyment later. **never froze these before, so this is an experiment for me, but seeing as how I've polished off 3 muffins in the writing of this post, that might be why**

I packaged these in 12 muffin batches in freezer ziplock bags, placed 2 carefully in our big freezer... and am happy to announce that when removed and left on the counter, they defrost marvelously!  So go ahead and freeze them up, knowing it will be LIKE you had fresh-baked muffins after you've finished the first dozen off!


November 1, 2011

Showcase Day!

So I haven't taken any fab pictures lately (and I should, cause the leaves are beautiful around here right now!) but my friend Jes took some SUNDAY. Of ME! :-P So I figured I'd showcase a little bit of her talent here for you (and her!).

Enjoy my preggers-ness and her photography skills!

As a reminder, these photos are copyrighted to JMH Photography and should not be shared or copied without express permission from the artist. If you'd like more information about Jes, e-mail me!